1) On Citing an Unsuccessful Search, Mills commented: "Randy, if we make a practice of preparing a research report whenever we do a block of research, then that research report will itemize everything that yielded positive or negative results, identify exactly what and who we sought in each of those sources, and discuss any/all other factors that may have influenced our results. Then in our databases, whenever we need to reference that "unsuccessful search," we can simply cite that research report, where all the details are provided."
My response: Ah, simplicity, thy name is Mills! But, but, but ... I have thousands of ancestors for whom I have not performed this essential task. True confession: The "thrill of the hunt" for new information overcomes the "drudgery of reconstructing research reports" for many of us, including moi.
2) On Benchmark Numbers for July 2012, Geolover noted: "Those were strange numbers for fold3.com - a precipitous decline in databases but increases in images?"
My response: I think that the Small Town Newspapers collection was removed from Fold3 when Ancestry took them over. That might explain the anomaly you noted.
3) On Surname Saturday - LNU (Germany > New Jersey), GeneGinny said: "Have you looked at "Early Germans of New Jersey" by Chambers? It's available on archive.org. I also found info on the Baltus Pickle family in the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, Vol. 46."
My response: I have seen and used that resource, but did not have it in my Google Library. I do now! Ginny also sent me images of the GMNJ article via email. Thank you, Ginny!
4) On Amanuensis Monday - the Will of Alvina Seaver (1848-1923), Robyn asked: "Wow! That was alot of money in 1923, I started to do the math, but it [seems] to be too much. Was Isaac a businessowner, or some other occupation which left him with such a sizeable estate?"
My response: Excellent question, Robyn. Isaac left about $1500 to her in 1901, and she owned a house also at that time. Alvina received a monthly Civil War pension ($12/month) as a result of Isaac's service. I think that Alvina was very prudent and conservative, and likely made some wise investments. She may have inherited assets from her parents, also. She lived the last year or so of her life in a "rest home" setting, and probably sold any property before she died.
5) On Surname Saturday - BLOETGOET/BLOODGOOD (Holland > New York > New Jersey), Yvette Hoitink made two comments:
"I'm pretty familiar with Dutch sources and thought I'd see if I can find anything that might interest you. I've found a mention of a Jan Bloedgoed in Gouda in 1393. A rent from his house in mentioned in the records of the burghers of Gouda. Given the rarity of the name, this suggests the family may originally be from Gouda rather than Amsterdam. That fits with John Blythe Dobson's doubts about the Amsterdam connection."
"The Gouda archives website has more Bloetgoet information, including more baptisms of children of Thomas Jans Bloetgoet (click the 'meer resultaten' links for more results). Thomas apparently moved to Nieuwkoop, a town a couple of miles north of Gouda. I live in that area myself. Feel free to ask me if you want to know more."
My response: Thank you so much, Yvette, for the information and the links to the Gouda information. I checked the data out (using the helpful Google Chrome translator) and have added some of it to my database. I love my readers!!!
6) On What to make of this telephone call..., I had many comments with great insight and advice, including:
* Laura Marshallsay: "My husband is a fraud investigator for a major bank. Do not attempt to do anything or verify anything yourself. Using someone else's SSN is call Ghosting and is a federal offense. This is something you need to report to the authorities. Contact the OFiice of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. They take this stuff very seriously. Their website (with hotline number) is http://oig.ssa.gov/report-fraud-waste-or-abuse."
* Geolover: "There are two essences to the call. One is an accusation, for which you have no evidence, concerning an unknown person's intention to act illegally. Since a question about SSDI does not imply such an intention, you would have no ground for reporting anything to any officialdom. If your caller is concerned, he can attend a public meeting and do his own reporting if he wishes. It is possible that the caller's actual intention was to target an individual for harassment.
"As recent Congressional discussions and actions have indicated, there is a fringe element that wishes to suppress public access to information about Social Security numbers. Despite the fact that removal of public indexes would make it harder for prospective employers to do a quick check on the SSDI. Some of this fringe element may be trying not to remove the indexes but to make it harder to find out how to consult them. This is the same theory as "if I don't tell my daughter about sex she won't engage in it." In this vein, the aim of the caller may have been to deter your showing how to use SSDI. Since information on how to use SSDI and where to find databases is extremely easy to find, it would make no sense for you to be ill at ease in sharing information."